Aleister Crowley was a world famous occultist born on 12th October 1875 in Royal Leamington Spa and studied at the university of Cambridge. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Aeon of Horus in the early 20th century He gained widespread notoriety during his lifetime, being a recreational drug experimenter and for being bisexual. He has remained an influential figure, both amongst occultists and in popular culture, particularly that of Britain, but also of other parts of the world. In 2002, a BBC poll placed Crowley seventy-third in a list of the 100 Greatest Britons, however the press have dubbed him the wickedest man in the world and a Satanist, Crowley stated he did not consider himself a Satanist, nor did he worship Satan, as he did not accept the Christian world view in which Satan was believed to exist. He nevertheless used Satanic imagery, for instance by describing himself as "the Beast 666" and referring to the Whore of Babylon in his work, in his later life he also used to send his friends anti Christmas cards.
His many books and beliefs have influenced magick greatly and provides inspiration for many a Magician of the modern age. He died of Chronic Bronchitis in Hastings in east Sussex in the year 1947 at the age of 72. His funeral was dubbed by the press as a black mass and his ashes were buried in the garden of Frater Saturnus his successor in the Ordo Templi Orientis another of Crowley’s organisations.
“Indubitably, Magick is one of the subtlest and most difficult of the sciences and arts. There is more opportunity for errors of comprehension, judgement and practice than in any other branch of physics.” - Aleister Crowley, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley: An Auto-hagiography.
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